Other than the awesome metafiction, which was even more way-over-the-top, breach-of-the fourth-wall than usual (and in my book that's saying somethingOther than the awesome metafiction, which was even more way-over-the-top, breach-of-the fourth-wall than usual (and in my book that's saying something), this didn't have much else going for it. I found it a bit underwhelming, especially after the most recent events at the Fables universe raised the bar pretty high. Also (and this is just me being petty), now I have the feeling that I should read Jack of Fables at some point. Which sucks. I hate that guy! Can I get the Genres and the pretty librarians and all the rest and leave that prick out of it all? Pretty please?...more
This was just as I expected - fairy tales twisted into a YA retelling, complete with all the blood and guts and gory details. Because that's what fairThis was just as I expected - fairy tales twisted into a YA retelling, complete with all the blood and guts and gory details. Because that's what fairy tales are all about. I liked the theme of loss, the sadness that comes with David's realization that he's not a child anymore. It's funny that this feeling doesn't come from the violence and the dangers of the world he steps into, but rather it's there from the beginning of the book, with his mom's death and his desperate attempts to regain control over his life. It's only when the fairy-tale world forces him to rise up to the occasion and become responsible for himself and his little brother that he makes peace with his new situation. I find that's respectful to the inner nature of classic tales, and to the experience of leaving your childhood behind, and I very much welcomed that....more
This one isn't as fresh as the previous ones, but it gets an extra star because of - Irritable Vowel Syndrome -This entire paragraph: (view spoiler)[TheThis one isn't as fresh as the previous ones, but it gets an extra star because of - Irritable Vowel Syndrome -This entire paragraph: (view spoiler)[The more I thought about it, the stranger it seemed, until suddenly, with a flash of realization, I knew what was going on. Sherlock Holmes, Temperance Brennan, the Good Soldier Svejk and myself—kill us and you kill not just the individual, but the series. It seemed too bizarre to comprehend, but it had to be the truth— there was a serial killer loose in the BookWorld.(hide spoiler)]. Priceless. - Cliffhanger ending.
Otherwise there's nothing new to it, but it's good, wacky metafiction, as always.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I've always believed that looking for expecting a perfect solution inevitably leads to extremism - for me, integrists are simply people who have becomI've always believed that looking for expecting a perfect solution inevitably leads to extremism - for me, integrists are simply people who have become too lost in theory. They're not monsters - they're just people with strongly held beliefs who have forgotten that, more often than not, one has to tolerate a certain degree of uncertainty, even compromise, in order to reach a valid conclusion. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing touch with reality.
I went to a Catholic school until I was 18, so I know full well that arguing this point isn't exactly easy. It doesn't matter how reasonable and conciliatory it sounds in your head - people will accuse you of moral relativism, even cowardice. Well, apparently there was someone who made this point long before I did - Bertrand Russell, a philosopher and public figure known for his high moral integrity. Oh, and also, a logician. Take that, stupid teenage classmates!
Interestingly enough, his story is told in a very metafictional way. I've always felt attracted to metafiction exactly because of this reason. By metafiction I mean experiments like Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile, in which the author subverts an original storyline and saves only the most essential plot points in order to play with parallelism. I get a kick out of it every single time, because it reminds me of how very little of what we take for granted is in fact essential - to a story, to a person, or to a way of life. There's something morally very powerful about that.
Then there's the other sort of metafiction, in which the author breaks the fourth wall and draws attention to the fact that the book is, precisely, a book. I'm a big fan of that too, but in this case it definitely doesn't work. To begin with, there's too much of it - the authors keep interrupting the plot to explain what just happened and where they plan on going next. This doesn't enhance, subvert or question anything - it's just sloppy. It reads like they got overexcited and wanted to include much more than they thought the storyline could contain. "See what we did there? We're drawing a parallel between The Oresteia and Russell's foundational quest! Get it?". I understand that this is related to the self-referential theme, but it still feels like cheating. You don't use metafiction for cheating!
Anyway, Russell's life story was fascinating, and it's made me want to read both Russell and The Oresteia, so I'm very happy I read it....more
This was a pretty cool reading experience, if only because it's been the first book in a while that I've read properly, respecting the pace and the flThis was a pretty cool reading experience, if only because it's been the first book in a while that I've read properly, respecting the pace and the flow of the story instead of reading it all in 10-minute periods. So I'm rather happy about that. The book itself is great too, though I liked the second half (which is less about comic books and more about the characters themselves) more than I did the first one. That's odd, because I'm a comic book fan myself; but the second half felt tighter and more focused. I particularly loved the entire North Pole section - it was harsh, unromantic, and anticlimactic in a way that made an excellent point of why revenge is ultimately useless and unsatisfactory....more
Oh man. I had grown used to these being all messy and dysrythmic, and I had accepted that as a necessary evil - after all, everything else about the TOh man. I had grown used to these being all messy and dysrythmic, and I had accepted that as a necessary evil - after all, everything else about the Thursday Next series is pure gold. But the fact that The Well of Lost Plots took place entirely within the BookWorld gave it a certain tightness, a sense of place and focus that the rest of the series lacked. And now I miss that.
But, this one's still wacky and meta and geeky and awesome, so yay! There was a bit too much political satire for my taste, but that's just me. It was great political satire, and it made me snort in all sorts of inappropriate public places. Fun!...more